Base Oil Price Report


Naphthenic base oil supplier San Joaquin Refining confirmed yesterday that it briefly imposed allocations on sales of 100 pale oil last week. The California refiner said it was forced to take that action for the second time this year after sacrificing 100 pale output in order to increase production of lighter grades.

On the paraffinic side of the market, Motiva and ConocoPhillips recently introduced posted prices for new products.

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San Joaquin operates the second-largest naphthenic base oil plant in North America, a 9,100-barrel-per-day facility in Bakersfield, Calif. The plant normally makes approximately 8,000 barrels per month of 100 pale, but made less recently as it increased production of 60 pale. The latter grade is used primarily in the manufacture of electrical transformer oils, and supply has been exceptionally tight the past few years since Shell closed two naphthenic plants.

San Joaquin said it also imposed allocations for 200 pale, a blended product that it sells in lower volumes. The company has now rebalanced its production slate and lifted allocations on both products.

Motiva recently began posting a price for its sixth grade of Group II oils – not counting a single Group II-plus product. The new listing has a viscosity of 175 SUS at 100 degrees F and is marketed under the product name Star 6. Motiva said it is currently blending the oil but that it will be produced as a straight cut when the company finishes an expansion of its Port Arthur, Texas, plant, scheduled to come online in January.

ConocoPhillips new posting is for a fourth grade of Group III oils imported from South Korean refiner S-Oil. The new product has a viscosity of 2 cSt and is marketed under the product name Ultra S-2.

Posted prices for paraffinic base oils were unchanged this week. The price of crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed yesterday at $65.58 per barrel, down $4.82 from a week earlier.

Historic U.S. posted base oil prices and WTI and Brent crude spot prices are available for purchase in Excel format.

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